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Britain, places to visit, attractions, heritageThis is the place to search for places and things of interest to visit in Britain, by name, location, type, keyword – or just have a browse.  It is a growing directory – over 780 entries as of June 2020.  Most entries have links for further information.

Wales

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SNOWDONIA

Snowdonia National Park is a mountainous area of North Wales which includes picturesque villages as well as caves, lakes, rivers and forests. In addition to offering virtually any outdoor activity you can think of - and railways - this is serious walking and climbing country.

The picture is of Castell-y-Gwynt (Castle of the Winds) a rock formation near the summit of Glyder Fach.

Region:
Location/Address: National Park Office
Penrhyndeudraeth
County: Gwynedd
Post Code: LL48 6LF
Main Historic Period: N/A
Link to featured article: Britain's National Parks
Primary Management: National Park
CRICCIETH CASTLE

Ruined castle dramatically perched on a headland and towering over the small town of Criccieth. This was originally a Welsh castle, begun by Llywelyn the Great in the 13th century, but it was added to over time - and frequently changed hands between the Welsh and the English. It is dominated by an enormous gatehouse and, allegedly, the scorches made by the flames that finally destroyed it in the 15th century can still be seen on the stonework.

Region:
Location/Address: Criccieth
County: Gwynedd
Post Code: LL52 0DP
Main Historic Period: Medieval
Primary Management: Cadw
CAERNARFON CASTLE

Enormous medieval castle, with iconic polygonal towers, constructed from the late 13th century on the orders of Edward I as part of his strategy to subjugate the Welsh. It was built on the site of an earlier Norman castle and close to where a Roman fortress had once stood. The castle and town then became the English administrative HQ for North Wales and was besieged many times - and captured too.

Caernarfon Castle is part of the World Heritage Site "Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd".

Region:
Location/Address: Castle Ditch
Caernarfon
County: Gwynedd
Post Code: LL55 2AY
Main Historic Period: Medieval
Tip/Nearby: Harlech, Conwy and Beaumaris castles are part of the same World Heritage Site.
Primary Management: Cadw
Dolbadarn Castle

With a dramatic background and probably built by Llywelyn ab Iorwerth ('the Great') early in the thirteenth century, the ruins of Dolbadarn Castle are dominated by a massive round-towered keep, still standing up to 50 feet (15.2m) high, with walls up to 8 feet (2.4m) thick. Access to the keep was via a removable staircase at first floor level. The castle occupies a strategic location guarding the Llanberis Pass and was seized by an English army under the Earl of Pembroke in 1282, following which it was abandoned and pillaged for building materials. It is possible it was used again during the revolt under Owain Glyndwr in the late 14th/early 15th century.

Region:
Location/Address: Llanberis
County: Gwynedd
Post Code: LL55 4UB
Main Historic Period: Medieval
Useful Website Address: Listing on Cadw's website
Tip/Nearby: Snowdonia. Carenarfon is about 8 miles.
Primary Management: Cadw
BEAUMARIS CASTLE

Beaumaris was the last and largest of the massive castles constructed by English King Edward I to keep the Welsh subjugated.  Construction began in 1295, but Beaumaris was never finished.  Even so, it is often regarded as the most technically perfect medieval castle in Britain.  And it is a World Heritage Site.

Region:
Location/Address: Castle Street, Beaumaris
County: Isle of Anglesey
Post Code: LL58 8AP
Main Historic Period: Medieval
Useful Website Address: Cadw listing for Beaumaris Castle
Tip/Nearby: Conwy Castle
Primary Management: Cadw
RAGLAN CASTLE

Though it still manages to look formidable, Raglan is a picturesque castle, built with an eye to comfort and fashion - and built by a Welshman, William Herbert. It began life relatively recently, for a castle, in the 1430s, was besieged and captured by Parliamentary forces in 1646 and then 'slighted' to prevent further defensive use. Set in parkland and once surrounded by gardens, its features include a separate keep surrounded by a moat and a stunning oriel window.

Region:
Location/Address: Castle Road
Raglan
County: Monmouthshire
Post Code: NP15 2BT
Main Historic Period: Tudor
Useful Website Address: Raglan Castle on Cadw's website
Tip/Nearby: Monmouth Castle
Primary Management: Cadw
CHEPSTOW CASTLE

The formidable looking Chepstow Castle dates from 1067 - building began less than a year after William the Conqueror became king. It was constructed in stone from the very start - not wood, as was the case with many Norman castles, in a strategic position overlooking an established crossing point over the River Wye. Building continued through its life right up to the 17th century. It was besieged twice during the English Civil War, eventually falling to Parliamentary troops. By the 18th century, Chepstow Castle was in a state of decay and becoming a tourist attraction.

Region:
Location/Address: Chepstow
County: Monmouthshire
Post Code: NP16 5EY
Main Historic Period: Medieval
Tip/Nearby: Tintern Abbey
Primary Management: Cadw
PENTRE IFAN

Remains of a communal tomb constructed maybe around 3,500 BC. The remaining stones form a doorway with a capstone on top some 17 feet (5.1 metres) long and weighing an estimated 16 tonnes. It is thought the original structure would have been about 120 feet (36 metres) long. Bits of pottery and worked flint have been found on site, but no human remains have been found.

Region:
Location/Address: South east of Newport on a (very) minor road between the A487 and B4329.
County: Pembrokeshire
Post Code: SA41 3TZ
Main Historic Period: Prehistory
Link to featured article: Pentre Ifan
Primary Management: Cadw
CASTELL HENLLYS

Castell Henllys is a reconstructed Iron Age village, or fort, but the only one in Britain built on an original Celtic site. So the idea is that you walk in the footsteps of the Demetae tribe that lived there 2,000 or so years ago. It is very much geared to schoolchildren, but it is fascinating for all ages. As well as roundhouses, enclosures etc, there is a visitor centre and you can stroll through the surrounding countryside and take a picnic. Regular events are held.

Region:
Location/Address: Meline
Nr Crymych
County: Pembrokeshire
Post Code: SA41 3UR
Main Historic Period: Prehistory
Link to featured article: Castell Henllys
Tip/Nearby: In the National Park off the A487 between Newport and Cardigan.
Primary Management: National Park
St DAVIDS BISHOP’S PALACE

The ruins of the grand palace of the bishops of St Davids sit next to the Cathedral - the latter still very much in use. The palace dates from the 13th century though it is largely the work of Bishop Henry de Gower (1328-47). Even now, it is impressive, with decorative chequered stonework, carved faces staring down at you from the past and a grand banqueting hall. The rose window in the east gable is a peach. It must have been hard, being a bishop.

Region:
Location/Address: St Davids
County: Pembrokeshire
Post Code: SA62 6PE
Main Historic Period: Medieval
Tip/Nearby: St Davids Cathedral, St David's Head
Primary Management: Cadw
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